Come to the Greenberg Room (460-126) this afternoon for Jim McCloskey‘s (UCSC) colloquium on syntax and Irish. The talk will start at 3:30, and there will be a social after!
Examining the syntax of nonfinite clauses in modern varieties of Irish reveals a pattern of variation which is intricate, rapidly shifting, and revealing about how the fundamental grammatical relations should be understood. This paper tries to better understand those patterns and to learn from them about how variation could or should be understood in theoretical terms.
Our very own alum Ashwini Deo will be giving a colloquium today at 3:30pm in the Greenberg Room. Come on out to hear her talk “The Semantic and Pragmatic Underpinnings of Grammaticalization Paths: the progressive and the imperfective”. Afterwards there will be a social, so stick around for drinks, snacks, dinner, and progressively imperfect conversation!
In this talk I offer an analysis of a robustly attested semantic change in which progressive markers “spontaneously” emerge in languages, get entrenched in the grammatical system, and diachronically grammaticalize into imperfective markers. Read the rest of this entry »
Come one, come all! Today William Labov (UPenn) will be giving a colloquium “Social vs. Structural Factors in Language Change” today at 3:30pm in the Greenberg Room. Come on by, it’ll be great! Stay after for the social as well, for food, drink, cheer, and interesting people. See you there!
Structural factors that have been invoked as explanations of sound change include the tendency to maximal dispersion, rule generalization and the unidirectional expansion of mergers. These have played a major role in changes operating below the level of social awareness, such as the Northern Cities Shift, the California Shift and the Low Back Merger. As changes become more salient and gain indexicality, social factors such as local prestige and stigmatization may operate to produce movement in directions contrary to those that respond to structural factors. The recent studies of sound change in Philadelphia show four salient changes that have reversed direction in such a way, but also three non-salient changes that have moved in the same direction for over a hundred years with no evidence of structural motivation or social differentiation. The explanation put forward to unify this situation — a shift from Southern to Northern orientation — implies that social factors can affect an entire community in ways that are well below the level of awareness.
Join us in the Greenberg room today at 3:30 for the first colloquium of the quarter. This week’s edition will be a talk by Tibor Kiss (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) on “Missing determiners and obligatory adjectives”. Afterwards, stick around for a social celebrating the April 8 holiday Hana Matsuri, the Japanese Flower Festival honoring the Buddha’s birthday. We’ll munch on sushi, edamame and wasabi-flavored things. Hope to see you all at both!
Missing Determiners and Obligatory Adjectives
This talk is concerned with determinerless PPs in which an adjective becomes obligatory, as illustrated in (1).
(1) Die Verkäuferin ist von einem unbekannten Mann mit *(blutiger) Spritze bedroht worden.
the shop assistant is from a unknown man with bloody syringe threatened PASS
‘The shop assistant has been threatened by an unknown man who used a syringe containing blood.’
In order to determine grammatical factors for the omission and realization of a determiner, we have applied annotation mining (Chiarcos et al. 2008, Kiss et al. 2010) to large data sets containing the prepositions *unter* (under, below), *über* (over, above), *mit* (with), and *ohne* (without). A generalized linear mixed model (GLMM, Zuur et al. 2007) revealed that adjectival modification increases the probability of determiner omission for the first three prepositions, but lowers it for *ohne*. Read the rest of this entry »